Police funding 2019/20

Closed 27 Jan 2019

Opened 11 Jan 2019

Feedback Updated 29 Mar 2019

We Asked

We asked people whether they agreed with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s proposal to raise the policing element of council tax by £24 per household over the course of the year.

This proposed funding would be used to:

Increase the police force by recruiting at least 320 officers; this would include:

  • 220 neighbourhood police officers
  • 50 police officers dedicated to policing the transport network
  • 50 police officers to create a proactive forcewide team

Continue to improve the 101 service

Tackle serious and violent crimeTackle violence against women and girls

Increase, for 2019/20, the amount of funding allocated to the local authorities for community safety initiatives. 

You Said

There were more than 850 responses to the consultation on GM Consult.

Feedback included:

  • 59% support the proposal of a £24 increase of council tax – or believe it should be increased by more than £24 over the year
  • 63% support the proposal to recruit 320 police officers

Additional comments include support for recruiting warranted police officers, not PCSOs, and a desire for an increase in visible police presence in neighbourhoods.

We Did

The proposal was presented at a special meeting of GMCA on 15 February 2019 by Deputy Mayor, Bev Hughes. The proposal, to increase the policing element of the council tax by £24, has been backed by the Police and Crime Panel.

The report and minutes from the Police and Crime Panel can be accessed here: https://www.gmcameetings.co.uk/meetings/meeting/645/police_and_crime_panel

The press release announcing the increase is available here: https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/greater-manchester-communities-to-benefit-from-additional-police-officers/

 

Results Updated 29 Mar 2019

A total of 452 online responses were received, 340 from individuals and 77 responded on behalf of an organisation (the remainder preferred not to say or did not answer the question). 

  • 92% of respondents agreed the vision was right (56% strongly agreed and 36% agree). 
  • 91% of respondents agreed the themes were right (46% strongly agreed and 45% agree). 

The feedback made it clear that drugs and alcohol should be seen as everybody’s business and that the focus should be on encouraging people to behave safely and responsibly. There was also support for our approach which emphasises people’s strengths and assets and the need for services and communities to work together to address drug and alcohol problems inclusive of criminal related activity. Respondents welcomed that the strategy included children and young people and placed emphasis on prevention and early intervention.

There were some concerns expressed about whether we have the resources to deliver the strategy.  These realistic concerns underline the need to continue the process of public sector reform that the strategy emphasises and ensure that all our services work better together. 

There was also concern that the strategy does not give consider the specific needs of communities of identity and interest (e.g. sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity), therefore we have made sure this is considered in the main narrative of the strategy and will ensure it is a key feature in the strategy’s implementation plan.

Many respondents took the opportunity to share that they feel unsafe at night in areas where pubs and clubs are concentrated and on public transport.  Alongside this there was support for a conversation with businesses about responsible trading and social accountability with many saying we should require, enforce or regulate this. 

Overview

Funding for the police comes both directly from central government and also a proportion of your council tax.

About 80% of the funding for the police comes in a grant from the government, and the Mayor is responsible for setting the amount of council tax that local households pay for the police.

Since 2010 the government has cut the amount of cash they provide to Greater Manchester Police by £215 million. This has resulted in the loss of 2,000 police officers – a 25% reduction – and 1,000 police staff and PCSOs.

At the same time the police are having to deal with ever increasing serious and complex crimes, such as cybercrime, terrorism, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

Recently the Government announced they will provide an additional £15m to Greater Manchester for 2019/20. However, this funding will only cover a shortfall in police pensions – an additional financial burden that has been caused by the Treasury moving the goalposts on how it calculates pension contributions and passing the shortfall onto local police forces.

Therefore, if police forces are to be able to increase police officer numbers so they can cope with the increasing serious and complex crimes, the funding can only come through local taxes. However, the Government also sets limits on how much council tax we can charge you for police services. This year they have said we can increase it by a maximum of £24.00 per household – this would raise £18m extra for Greater Manchester.

Why We Are Consulting

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Crime and Policing shortly have to decide the amount of council tax that local households will pay for the police over the course of 2019/20, and we would like to know how you feel about the proposals.

What Happens Next

The feedback that has been collected during this consultation will be used to inform the Mayor and Deputy Mayor's decision about how much the public should contribute to police funding in 2019/20.

 

Audiences

  • General public
  • Community, voluntary sector and social enterprises
  • Public sector partners

Interests

  • Police budget